From the Archive: Kirbs too much for Middlesex

Throughout the year we take a look back through our archives to highlight classic matches or impressive performances.

Today we travel back to May 2013 and a match at Taunton between Somerset and Middlesex in the Yorkshire Bank 40-over competition.

SCORECARD

Somerset recently announced that former bowler Steve Kirby would be returning to the Cooper Associates County Ground as Bowling Coach, and this match featured his best List A figures for the Club as Somerset triumphed by six wickets.

After winning the toss, Somerset Captain Marcus Trescothick elected to have a bowl.

The visiting opening pair of Chris Rogers and Dawid Malan made a strong start and shared a stand of 73 before the Australian was caught by Alviro Petersen off the bowling of Craig Meschede for 29. Malan was next to go when he was caught by James Hildreth off Max Waller for 49 with the scoreboard showing 98.

Middlesex were advancing well, and Joe Denly was looking in good form, but then Kirby was tossed the ball.

The visitors were looking well placed on 222 for five, but by the time Steve was finished their innings closed on 252 for nine and the paceman had four wickets.

Gareth Berg was his first victim when he was caught behind by Jos Buttler for one. James Harris was the next man to fall when he was caught by Alex Barrow for five, and then Denly fell for 60 just two balls later. Tim Murtagh was then bowled by Kirby without scoring as Somerset’s new Bowling Coach finished the day with four for 52.

Peter Trego (81) and Arul Suppiah (60) shared a second wicket stand of 110 as Somerset reached their required target for the loss of just four wickets.

What does Steve remember about that day?

“I remember it being a pretty flat deck and we had to pull them back a little bit because they were going at a decent click. I’d like to say it was all about me, but it really wasn’t. It was more about Max Waller to be honest because he bowled really well. He was the one that changed the game by getting Malan out. I just picked up a few wickets at the end.

“I also remember us knocking it off quite violently as well. Tregs and Arul played brilliantly with Hildy and Jos getting us over the line quite nicely. Although we won the game quite convincingly, it looked at one point like we might be chasing a fair few more.

“Middlesex were going hard and when we came on to bowl we had to change things up a bit. We needed a good bowling partnership and Max and I were able to do that. He bowled really well and I just hung off his coat tails.

“I think I gave Dawid Malan a little bit of chat on the day, but it didn’t work because I didn’t get him out! I don’t think I’d be giving him too much banter now because he’d smack me all over the place! He was a cracking player even back then and Middlesex were a good side.

“I loved playing in that team. It didn’t matter who we were playing, someone always stood up with either bat or ball. It was a very enjoyable team to play in, especially in white-all cricket. We had the likes of Tres, Jos, Hildy and Tregs. It was just a top team.

“We were a very dangerous side with the bat. Anyone playing against us would be apprehensive because our batting line up was really good. We also had a great bowling line up with the likes of Alfonso Thomas and it was great to be able to learn from players like that. We had good overseas players too and everyone put their hands up and it was a team that had all bases covered. It was definitely a team that deserved a trophy during that period.”